Don’t get left out in the cold this Christmas, plan ahead

WHEN should I travel by train this Christmas?

Great Western Railway (GWR) is advising customers to plan their journeys in advance this Christmas and to travel as early as possible, with Network Rail continuing its work to modernise the Great Western mainline.

On Sunday, December 24 and Wednesday, December 27, trains will not be able to operate to or from London Paddington.

While some services will be diverted to London Marylebone these will be limited and in high demand; and the majority of services will terminate at Reading or Slough.

GWR Operations Manager Rob Mullen said: “We advise customers to plan their journey in advance at and travel on or before December 23 if possible.

“While we recognise the disruption this work will cause, and thank passengers in advance for their understanding, it is vital to enable us to run more electric trains delivering more seats and more frequent services.”

Local trains in the Thames Valley will operate between Reading and Slough, where replacement bus services will take customers onwards; however, these journeys will be significantly longer and buses are expected to be busy.

Chris Fuoco, Senior Incident Officer at Network Rail, said: "We are urging passengers to check before you travel over this Christmas period as Network Rail undertakes a £40m investment on the Great Western Main Line and Crossrail as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan.

“This package of work is vital in order to accommodate GWR’s new fleet of trains and to enable Crossrail services to begin at the end of next year.

“I’d like to thank passengers in advance for their patience over this period.”

When should I travel?

Thursday, December 21 and Friday, December, 22:

A normal service will operate.

Saturday, December 23:

Some platforms at London Paddington will not be available for GWR to use which will affect the arrival and departure times of a small number of trains.

Sunday, December 24 and Wednesday, December 27:

The railway between London Paddington and Slough will be closed

Christmas Day and Boxing Day:

No service.

Thursday, December 28 to Sunday, December 31:

A reduced weekend service will be in operation to and from London Paddington

Monday, January 1:

A normal Bank Holiday service will operate

Passengers can visit for further information.